RE: Responding to Katrina (offtopic even if XML is part of the
more difficulty with federal involvment in the planning vs rescue saga? http://www.rense.com/general67/cit.htm On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote: > I am sincerely sorry for your loss, Sterling. My extended > version of that email is on my blog (http://lamammals.blogspot.com). > I apologize if I am over emotional. I grieve with you. > > 3. Evacuation orders were ignored and/or could not be followed. > Being able to repurpose existing assets quickly is the only means > I know of to move populations in mass. Orders to persons without the means to execute is like pushing a button on a machine that is not wired from the button to the machine. Government needs to understand, survival is a bottom up process and the place to make sure it happens is at the bottom of the process. Top down federalism is not an effective means of survival in a hurricane. Empower the masses to evacuate and let the top down planners make sure the routes are available for the masses to use. > > 4. Local control is a part of the emergency planning and > response systems in every plan I've seen. Response is in > question. Again, investigation will out the flaws as long > as distractions aren't allowed to defocus the effort. We > know what we now know about 9/11 only because local efforts, > particularly family survivors, made the public case and > forced the hand of the administration. Don't play the blame > game; analyze the events. I think the region performed as > well as it could in face of the catastrophe without all of > the necessary communications and coordinated command and control. > I think the whole planning thing stinks because it assumes that the top down bureaucrats can do the job. No job can be done when a hurricane changes the emotions of the would be survior and the bureaucrat has a wife and family to go home to just before the disaster hits. Survival is a bottom up process. It begins with sufficient information to assess the risk ( it does not begin when some bureaucrat says its time or orders someone to do something. ) Given enough non varying information, the survior begins to take stock of his or her options in the light of current circumstances, his past personal experience, and the intensity of the force which is likely to occur. There is a degree of assurance needed before one leaves on home even if the person leaving has money and other resources. That assurance can only come from opinion leaders within the "wbs's" would be survior's circle of acquaintences. The best planning would establish an "emergency alternate town", equipped with all the needs to continue ones lives. Such a town would have railroad facilities able to carry everyone and their personal belongs out of harms way and to return them. > Most important: pay attention to Dispatch-to-Dispatch center > messaging. That is the real time ability to request and receive > assets in response to real time events. This is a regional problem > and it scales out to National as needed. It does require mobilization > prior to need to work at its best, so early warning prediction systems, > tieing in to weather systems, publicly available plume analysis, etc. > are needed. Then, remember that the edge of your > network is your mobile systems. STANDARDS HERE ARE CRITICAL. No > amount of centralization will be effective if the mobile systems > aren't interoperable. When Dispatch centers are destroyed, you > have to go to the backup center or fail over to a neighboring > region until you get one that works. At that point, the neighboring > center possibly purchases under a separate procurement must be able > to interface to your local responder systems: the edge of your > network is where the work gets done. Don't lose it because vendor > a and vendor b are trying to kill each other in the market. > > The OASIS, IJIS, OJP and DHS groups are doing a heckuva good job. > I read it all. I work every day to get them visibility in my company. > I say with shame that the public safety industry and my own company > have been too slow. We are fixing that. I need you to push from > your end, local and State to make sure your procurements reflect > a regional system approach. We walk the line between public service > and business. To work, we have to win bids. To win bids, we have > to commit to what you ask for. To stay in business and work, you > have to converge on what you are asking for. Standards are our > friends, yours and mine. > > It won't repair the levees. It won't lift a soul out of that water. > It can and must make the response to the next catastrophe faster and > better planned. It cannot come down to your mayor screaming at > the President on CNN. As much as I admire and understand that, it > should not be his only recourse. He should have had the communications > systems and the call lists. Then the kind of centralized and local > command and control you are describing can be achieved because it > will not depend on race, party affiliation, who is on vacation, > who is at the hotel, or who has the cash on hand: it will rely on > executing a plan and changing it in real time as events are realized > and assets arrive. It may not be cheaper; it can be faster. > > That the resources must be there is a given. Even if we have to steal them. > > Zero-tolerance is a stupid strategy even if a good sound byte. > > Some laws do need to be passed. We can get to this topic another time. > > len > > > -----Original Message----- > From: sterling [mailto:sstouden@t...] > Sent: Wednesday, September 07, 2005 10:12 AM > To: Bullard, Claude L (Len) > Cc: XML Developers List > Subject: Re: Responding to Katrina (offtopic even if XML is > part of the soluti on) > > > > I lost my home in Ivan. I think many of the words in your message explain > the problem, the problem is the word "emergency". An emergency is defined > as an event in which the outcome cannot be anticipated and the > circumstances is not routine or recurring. > > I understand in New Orleans officials kept would be rescuers from > entering the city and prevented private parties from directly supplying > food, water and other items to the affected people in the area that they > were controlling, and prevented people from protecting their individual > private property, this caused many to have even greater losses. > > The hurricane was not an catastrophic event. The hurricane was an > expected event at a time fairly well predicted for which a great deal of > planning and preparation had been made to get the affected area prepared. > In this case as events unfolded the city, county and state were > prepared without much uncertainty to handle the hurricane. > > A catastrophic emergency occurred many hours after the hurricane was over. > Many were returning to the city. The emergency occurred when the Dikes > and levies broke. > > In such a catastrophic emergency, there is little prior planning that can > be done. The planning has to be done on the spot as circumstances dictate. > The resources that might be needed might be very different from the not > uncommon occurrence of a natural hurricane. > > The New Orleans Dike breaks proved, in my opinion, that FEMA cannot > effectively respond to a catastrophic emergency. Response to emergency of > that order of magnitude probably takes local people who know the streets, > the buildings, and the capacity of the local assets. Furthermore, the > local people will listen to their local leaders. Basically, the rule is > that top down planning does not work in a catastrophic event. Survival is a > > bottom up need. > > It is the locals who can estimate on the spot the capacity of the people > still at risk within the city. Only someone like the mayor could have > estimated the ability of the local people and generate for them an on the > spot assist to survival. The mayor cannot do this if he is not in command > of the situation. > > In the case of the Levee breaks, FEMA should have been required to answer > to the mayor of the city. The mayor should have been in charge and FEMA > should have been obligated to get whatever resources he needed even if > what he asked for or thought he needed kept changing every few minutes. > > There is no routine plan in a catastrophic emergency and no time to do > any planning. Time is the essence in such a situation, only someone like > the mayor and his staff would have been able to comprehend events as they > became known. Escape from death or injury not protection of private > property or escape from the city becomes the essence of the need. > > The naval fleet could have substituted for most of the post hurricane > damaged infrastructure and search and rescue equipment needed to respond to > the post hurricane catastrophic emergency brought on by the Dyke Breach. > It might be that the mayor should have been able to order the fleet and > national guard to New Orleans and to issue orders which they would follow. > > FEMA was the wrong group to be in charge after the catastrophic event > occurred. > > The power of the mayor needed to be temporarily elevated nearly to the > position of commander so that he had the authority to bring to the city > the resources that the military and other branches of government had which > could have been used to respond to catastrophe. > > Hurricane on the Gulf Coast are common occurrences. Even if FEMA handles > the recovery from them well, FEMA could not possibility have the knowledge > of the local leaders at a time when timely appropriate response is the > essence of survival. Local leader is the leader of the smallest political > subdivision which just covers all of the area affected by the catastrophe. > > Laws to handle catastrophes are not warranted. Assist with bottom up > survival is the need. Laws might actually hinder the assist since > the very definition of catastrophic is an unexpected, unplanned for > mega event that causes or threatens to cause wholesale loss of life. > That mega event threat must be handled by the locals, but the assets of > the international community must be made available to the local who has > become the TEMP IN CHARGE. > > FEMA and federal agencies seem to need about a week to get things in > place. > > These are my opinions based on what I have seen in 20 years of hurricanes. > The catastrophic emergency is different from a routine hurricane. > > > > > > On Tue, 6 Sep 2005, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote: > > > While glad to see the individuals pulling the online > > resources together in response to Katrina, I reiterate > > Rex Brook's post that getting more professional and informed > > resources into the specification processes for the public > > safety and justice systems is a very positive response. > > Had CAP and EDXL been online, the response effort could > > have been better. Work on open interoperable asset > > cataloging and management was not advanced enough but > > can be accelerated. While large scale sensor systems > > are vital to homeland security, we are seeing in Katrina > > the results of overfocusing on one source of hazards to > > the neglect of more probable ones. > > > > "Fear is the mindkiller." Frank Herbert. We have to face > > this squarely. From 9/11 forward we have been operating in > > a climate of fear and distraction, somewhat normal given > > the enormity of that event, but ever since being played as > > a card in the game of political distraction. This stops. > > Officials using the destruction of the Gulf Coast by Katrina > > as the means to push agendas for left or right political > > causes are not doing their jobs to serve the people. Turn > > them off for now and remember them later at the ballot box. > > The media is not excused either. We all failed. Too many > > people are dead, dieing, homeless or grieving to believe otherwise. > > Beware the blame game. It doesn't helo people off of roofs. > > > > >From my desk, it is clear that the call list systems were > > inadequate. Call lists are part of the major incident > > response protocols that enable resources to be brought on > > line quickly and efficiently. It is likely that inadequate > > provisions were made for rapid mandatory evacuations, and > > just as obvious that some people don't heed warnings even > > when the evidence is in and time is short. It is obvious > > that some people even with adequate warning do not have > > the resources to evacuate. That is a very tough problem > > to solve logistically. When the danger is fast coming, > > there are no magic helicopters or fleets of ships. It > > comes down to school buses, flat beds, tractor-trailers, > > Wal-Marts and Lowes. Remember that. Think hard about > > what is on their shelves and which parts you want on > > the street the morning after. Pass laws. > > > > A top-down response is always combined with a bottom-up > > response. Political hay notwithstanding, there will be > > plenty of lessons learned for everyone involved. It is > > obvious that we must step up the pressure to implement a > > well-thought through and fearless National Response Plan. > > It is obvious that State and Local protocols must be > > adjusted quickly to cope with the need to interoperate > > at a national level. Note that while local and State > > control of resources remain standard procedure, requests > > from these officials are not required to mobilize national > > assets under the NRP. Old habits can be bad habits. > > > > What do you know about your location and what is near you? > > If you see a Cat 2 or 3 enter the Gulf in August, you don't > > need much analysis to know time is wasting. Are there > > large chemical plants or nuclear reactors near your > > home? Do you know about plumes and prevailing winds? > > Do you have a plan to find family members fast? > > > > As a member of the public safety industry watching my > > company stock climb even as I know public safety systems > > were inadequate in the face of a Cat 4/5 hurricane, I have > > that same sick feeling I had on 9/11: making money on misery > > is something we attribute to the weapons systems vendors > > but it is just as true of the first responder industry. All > > I can ask for is help doing a better job. Pay attention > > to your local procurements for public safety systems as > > only those of you with backgrounds in computer science, > > XML, network systems and logistics can. You know what > > works and what doesn't. Don't make it a fight over SOA > > vs REST for pity's sake: do make it a fight over formats. > > > > The amount of senseless local deviation in your dispatch > > and records management systems to keep your local response > > officials nice-to-your-mayor or unions will get you killed. > > Kick their heads until they implement GJXML, NIMS, CAP, > > EDXL and other document protocols that work Just-In-Time > > when regions outweigh townships. Train your cops and > > firemen on computers. There is NO excuse for a computer > > illiterate in a cruiser or any other first responder vehicle. > > There is no excuse for software that is so hard to operate > > that a college degree is required. There is no excuse > > for turning this into a cause celebre in the paper unless > > the vendor refuses to work with local officials but obvious > > reasons to do so if either side can't work to fix the problems, > > BUT bloody well know what the real problems are and don't > > let your public safety systems become political footballs > > to help an elected official or to cover up a bad procurement > > or to fix union problems. > > > > Networks don't fight floods, fires, or CBRNE but they can > > place a lot of the right calls to the right people at the > > right time. Buy wisely. Pay attention. Act. > > > > len (speaking only for myself and not my employer) > > > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an > > initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription > > manager: <http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/index.php> > > > > ----------------------------------------------------------------- > The xml-dev list is sponsored by XML.org <http://www.xml.org>, an > initiative of OASIS <http://www.oasis-open.org> > > The list archives are at http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/ > > To subscribe or unsubscribe from this list use the subscription > manager: <http://www.oasis-open.org/mlmanage/index.php> >
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